CCR Stands with Survivors, Condemns Confirmation of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court
In response to the Senate's confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement:
The Center for Constitutional Rights stands with survivors of sexual assault and all those who feel their dignity has been denied by the Senate's confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Last Thursday's Kavanaugh hearing displayed a stark and deeply unsettling chasm between TRUTH – a dignified, courageous, and agonizing telling of truth – and POWER – entitled, raging, unabashed power. That day, Kavanaugh aggressively deployed power in an attempt to shout over, bury, and deny Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's truth. And, as of today, after an incomplete FBI investigation thwarted by the White House, 50 senators joined him in casting aside truth to ascend him to power. Brett Kavanaugh lied, bullied and taunted his way to his claimed entitlement – as a white, elite man – to one of the most authoritative and consequential positions in our government. The result will have damning consequences for women, people of color, and all marginalized people.
In the deeply pained and resonant words of our ally, Ana Maria Archila, spoken as she courageously confronted Senator Jeff Flake, a Supreme Court justice is supposed to "recognize harm, take responsibility for it and work to repair the harm." To be sure, future Justice Kavanaugh will do no such thing; he has been reared to uphold power, not truth – with corporations, with the church, with the presidency, and with the police.
The continued ascendancy of such power to the Supreme Court is jarring, and its repercussions will be numerous. But, at CCR, we know that the people more than the courts are the lasting vehicle for social change. As we have observed in legal struggle after struggle, the truth of survivors' stories, of communities' stories, and women's stories will always outlast a court ruling or an opinion from a Supreme Court justice. And so, we thank Anita Hill, Christine Blasey Ford, Ana Maria Archila, and hundreds of survivors who have confronted the most powerful men and institutions, and flooded the streets and the halls of the Senate in protest. The innumerable ways they have spoken truth to power endures far beyond this horrific confirmation process and the dangerous tenure of Brett Kavanaugh on the Court.
Lawsuit challenges detention and five-month incommunicado separation of asylum-seeking father and infant sone in New York
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed in a Manhattan court for the immediate release and reunification of a Honduran man seeking asylum ("Mr. C.") and his two-year-old son, who have been separated between two New York detention facilities since May. While Mr. C is detained in the Orange County Correctional Facility in Goshen, New York, his two-year-old is detained in a refugee resettlement facility in the Bronx, and handed over to a foster parent appointed by the detention center overnight. They are barred from communication. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) found that Mr. C. has a reasonable fear of persecution if he returns to Honduras, but the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has suggested it would reunify Mr. C. and his son only if he forfeits his asylum claim and return to the gang-based persecution he attempted to flee.
"It breaks my heart every day that I wake up and cannot see my son," said Mr. C, speaking from the detention facility in Goshen. "The last time I saw him, he could only say a few words including 'papa,' and my heart aches that I am not there to see everything he is learning and how he is growing. There is a hurt in my heart that nothing can take away until I can be with my son. They give me pills to help, but nothing does. We ran from Honduras from danger. It was a harrowing journey to get to the United States, and then they took my son away and put me in detention."
The filing challenges Mr. C. and his son's treatment as unlawful detention, a violation of Mr. C.'s right to pursue asylum protections, unconstitutional discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, and/or national origin, and torture, due to the sever physical and mental suffering imposed by the detentions and separation. Attorneys have asked the court to block efforts to return Mr. C. and his son to Honduras, to declare their separation unlawful, to immediately release Mr. C. and his son and prohibit further separation.
"This father and son fled torture and death in their home country, only to be met with a U.S. policy of torture—the separation of parents from infant children," said CCR Legal Director, Baher Azmy. "The Constitution prohibits the Administration's practice of ripping families apart to advance its aims of excluding refugees who are fleeing horrific persecution at home. This cruelty is still happening with shattering psychological and emotional consequences to families."
- Join us for CCR Celebrates Changemakers and brand reveal party
Join us at the 2018 CCR Celebrates Changemakers! Thursday, Oct. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Hudson Mercantile, 500 W. 36th St. The Changemakers awards honor advocates, lawyers and artists who stand up for social justice – sharing CCR’s commitment to attack oppressive systems of power in the courts, government, and alongside social justice movements. The highlight of the evening's activities will be a conversation with the 2018 activist, lawyer and storyteller Changemakers! This exciting event will also include special guests, great food and open bar, and swag.
The Center for Constitutional Rights will be revealing its new look at the Changemakers' after party at 7:30 p.m., also at Hudson Mercantile. Experience our new brand through a lively interactive and immersive walk through CCR's past, present, and future. Dancing. Swag. Heavy hors d'oeuvres. Open bar.
Register here for CCR Celebrates Changemakers.
Register here for the free brand reveal after party.
- Living in sanctuary
Join CCR, the Magnum Foundation, and our partners Oct. 15 for Living in Sanctuary, part of For Freedoms' 50 State Initiative to spur greater participation in civic life. The event is at 6:30 p.m. at the Magnum Foundation, 59 E. 4th St., 7W in New York City.
Documentary photographer Cinthya Santos-Briones will share her latest work from her ongoing, long-term project about undocumented families living in sanctuary in New York City churches. Cinthya's work centers the emotional, psychological, and political impact of taking sanctuary, while showing the poignant, quiet, and tender moments of establishing home, routine, and community.
CCR Staff Attorney Angelo Guisado will join Cinthya and Anu Joshi, Immigration Policy Director at the New York Immigration Coalition, for a discussion: what are strategies for resistance and solidarity being practiced here in New York? What's at stake for immigrants in this current climate? What do we know or not know about abusive immigration policies and avenues for recourse? We look forward to your questions, insights, and participation to make this a safe, inclusive, and empathetic conversation.